Jaffna and North Zone


The North Zone of the country is mostly with the Hindu influence colorful Kovils, ranges of fishtail palm and lifestyle adhered to react to the most of northern side of living. Even though it was significantly a political zone from the earlier days in Sri Lankan history, the colonial days has left their imprint in shapes of Forts, churches and administration buildings. Land area is 20.2 km² and the usual weather is: 31°C, Wind W at 8 km/h, 74% Humidity. The general population as at 2012 is 88,138. In Jaffna, the summers are long, hot, and overcast; the winters are short, warm, wet, and partly cloudy; and it is oppressive and windy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 30°C to 34°C. In the days of the colonial era Jaffna is known for their trading in gold and silver jewelry production, agriculture, tobacco. In the present day most of the economy is wrapped around the fisheries harbor and industries, including food processing, packaging, making of household items, and salt processing, also Tourism. Jaffna’s cultural insight is shaped mostly around the Hindu culture and celebrates all festivities such as Thai Pongal, Deepavali which has a significance in Hinduism. Food culture also takes after mostly the South Indian cuisine and is consisting of colorful sweet meats and vegetarian dishes. Also known for the seafood, the Jaffna crab curry is a must try when you are in Jaffna.


Being recently opened for tourists, Jaffna is the furthermost point of the country to the North. The Point Pedro is the point lengthwise of Sri Lanka. Mostly inhibited by Hindus this part of land is high in diversity both ecologically and culturally.

With Palmyrah palm hitting up the skies, the Tamil community takes most part of the tree to the best use. Elephant pass is a vital place for the tourists to see among the other tourist attractions, being one of the most hit up security points by the SL Army, which had been a prime target during the war ridden days.

Apart from the war and related monuments, the Nagadeepaya temple, Jaffna Fort from the Dutch ruling period in the country, the Delft island also carries the remnants of the Dutch ruling period are worth seeing. The town is also a multi-cultural brimming point and has a lot of worshipping places including the Nagadeepaya Buddhist Temple, the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil and the Saint James church.

Jaffna being an ocean border town has clean beaches around about the city which is clean and nice for the most part of it, also Jaffna is known for the Keeramalai Healing springs being a hot water spring it is believed to be having healing properties in the water and is a vital touring point to anyone visiting Jaffna. Further to the history, the remains from the Jaffna royal family residences from the 1200’s have survived time and are open for public viewing.


Jaffna Fort

The second biggest Dutch fort built in Sri Lanka is an archaeological monument that has had a direct onslaught as a result of the recent 30 year armed conflict. An outer moat exists outside the ramparts. Outside the moat is the outer rampart which has built into it five tunnels each in a twin formation. The monuments within the fort had been destroyed during the conflict that raged in the area. Of these the monument named the Queen’s Palace is in sufficient level of preservation than the rest as it could be identified. Its superstructure is completely destroyed and the remaining walls are in the process of being destroyed due to the presence of invasive plants having taken roots in them. The fort is a free visiting area to the tourists during the day.


Jaffna Public Library

Been rebuilt coming closer to its original state, Jaffna public library was torched down in 1981 burning down with it at the time’s most valuable book collection in South Asia. The fire took down about 100,000 books and priceless Ola leaf manuscripts. The library has now been rebuilt with donations from around the world. The library garden’s a tribute statue to its founder Reverend Long, who said to have died hearing the news of original library’s destruction. The library allows visitors for peeks, but all sections are prohibiting the entrance of non members.


Delft Island

The windswept and bleak landscape to Delft, the uttermost inhibited island, contains the remainders of the Portuguese and Dutch periods, famous for its wild ponies, which come from a Portuguese breeding stock. There is also remains of a coral fort, fairly tumbledown but still recognizable. Behind the hospital, South of the jetty is a single baobab tree and further a large banyan, while at the southern tip the Quindah tower is an ancient navigational landmark. The town still has pigeonholes from the Dutch times of sending Colombo fort messages through a pigeon.


Point Pedro

With the unity sign in place now after the war, Point Pedro is the northernmost tip of the island. Peninsula’s second largest town and neighboring India is a swimmable 32 km away. There’s a fishing harbor, a beach, and a lighthouse, which marks the most northerly point. Now being a very touristic area, still the point is in visible rule by the SL Army. There is said to be a tunnel which connects point to the Nallur Kandaswamy temple.



The North of the island, the nearest to the Jaffna town, is Kayts. Once had been a very wealthy, sought after living area, there’s still ruins of villas. The road ends at jetty for boats to Karaitiv Island and further is an army base. From such point, Indian Fishing boats are impounded from entering Sri Lankan waters. To the West the very well preserved Fort of Hammenhiel which is now converted as a resort and some parts of it is still used as a prison coming down from Dutch days. The South Kayts beach, Velanai is known for its smooth waters.


Nallur Kandaswamy Temple

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil is a temple to the deity of Lord Murugan. The vast temple is mostly embodied in gold with miniature statues from top to bottom. As for all Hindu temples, Nallur Temple also has a pond in center. The main shrine is far inside the temple and a pilgrim can walk around the temple reading the wall paintings that say a cultural story. There is a dress code to enter the temple, women should cover the knees and shoulders, men are expected to enter shirtless. Photography inside the temple is prohibited.


Accommodation choices for Jaffna and North Zone

We’ve selected a range of accommodation options when you visit the Jaffna and North Zone. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities, and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

Suggested itineraries featuring Jaffna and North Zone

These sample itineraries will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Jaffna and North Zone, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.


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